FreeMotion Free Weight Benches - Olympic Benches

FreeMotion Free Weight Benches - Olympic Benches

The bench press is one of the most commonly performed exercises in gyms. Powerlifters contest this lift while bodybuilders use it to build chest muscle mass. To get the most out of this exercise and minimize your risk of injury, make sure you use proper bench press form. It's also imperative to use a spotter so that an uncompleted rep does not end in a chest-crushing disaster.

The Set Up

A strong set up position can make or break your bench press. You need a solid base from which to press otherwise the bar will wobble and you will waste valuable energy.
Lie on your back with your eyes just under the bar, so that when you lift it clear of the bench hooks, the bar will not get caught. Bend your legs and place your feet flat on the floor. If you cannot reach the floor comfortably, place your feet on a stack of weight plates or some other low platform. Your shins should be roughly vertical. Arch your lower back slightly and lift your chest up toward the ceiling. Your butt should stay in contact with the bench at all times and your shoulders should be down and back for added stability.

While the bench press may be commonplace in your gym routine, you may benefit from switching to incline bench presses instead. Under-training the upper pecs and relying on flat bench presses are both big mistakes when building muscle, notes trainer and bodybuilder Greg Merritt on the website Simply Shredded. Rather than starting each session with flat chest exercises, try an incline bench instead. Just make sure you get the angle right.FreeMotion 220be Olympic Bench

The Best of Chest

To hit your chest, a 15- to 30-degree angle is best, according to strength coach Jason Ferruggia. Keeping your bench below 30 degrees will effectively target your upper pecs and reduce the risk of injury. Personal trainer Mark McManus backs this up on his website, MuscleHack, noting that going up just one notch on the bench from a flat position is enough to target your upper chest.

The bench press is one of the most popular strength training exercises around. Using barbells or dumbbells, bodybuilders perform bench presses to build upper body muscle size, powerlifters to test upper body strength and athletes to gain functional strength for sports. Knowing what muscles are involved in the bench press can help you decide whether the bench press is for you.FreeMotion 220be Olympic Bench

The Power Behind the Press

The main muscle used in any exercise is properly called the agonist or, sometimes, the prime mover. This muscle is also the target muscle of the exercise and the reason for doing a particular movement. In the bench press, the agonist is the pectoralis major, pecs for short, and your chest muscles. The bench press is known for being an effective chest-developing exercise and uses the central part of the pecs -- the sternal region.

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